Rockwell dedicates new police building to former Chief Hugh Bost

Published 12:10 am Sunday, August 20, 2023

ROCKWELL — The town of Rockwell held a dedication Friday morning commemorating former police and fire chief Hugh Bost with a plaque installed on the police department’s new building. Bost retired from the police department after 46 years of service shared between the police and fire department.

Bost, who retired in 2021, has recently faced some health challenges, including a fight with brain cancer that has slightly inhibited his ability to speak. His wife Susan stood up and spoke at the event in his place, telling a story about his service as a police officer.

According to Susan, a man in Spencer was wanted on a warrant. That same man had been arrested before by Bost, and because of the kindness that Bost showed him during that arrest, the man walked from Spencer to Rockwell to turn himself in to Bost himself.

Chris Cranford, a member of Rockwell’s Board of Aldermen, and former Rockwell Mayor Robert Bost also spoke at the event about what Hugh has meant to the community.

Robert Bost spoke about the hiring process that the town went through that eventually led to hiring Hugh as the head of the police department. The town had narrowed the search down to Hugh and an officer from Hendersonville.

“A police officer at the time in Salisbury gave me a call and he said listen. He said they’re both qualified, no doubt. But he said the man from Hendersonville is going to use this town as a stepping stool, that’s all it’s going to be. But he said if you hire Hugh, you’re going to hire a man who is going to dot every i and cross every t. He’s never going to leave you. And that was an easy thing wasn’t it, to choose?” said Robert Bost.

Twenty-five years after the town made the choice to hire Hugh, he is still in Rockwell. Now, his name is memorialized on the Rockwell Police Department building.

Susan sometimes helps Hugh finish his sentences. When asked what the dedication meant to him, Hugh started with “I just have to,” and Susan finished with “just wanna thank everybody that’s been a part of this. He loves this community and his town.”